Brazil scores big in UFC's first-ever Twitter bonuses; Silva, Nogueira, Maia earn $10K
It's a good week to be Brazilian.
With the UFC gaining rapid steam in the country and the promotion set for a January return to the South American nation, Brazilian fighters also scored big in the company's first-ever Twitter bonus awards.
UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva, former interim heavyweight champ Antonio Rodrgio Nogueira and middleweight contender Demian Maia each pocketed $10,000 for winning bonuses in two different categories.
Bellator signs UFC vet Brian Foster for welterweight division
Brian Foster is headed to Bellator Fighting Championships' competitive welterweight division.
Officials today announced the signing, thought terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"I'm getting that belt," Foster stated. "I want to fight the best. I want to fight (champ) Ben Askren and take home that belt. I ran through my last two opponents, and I'm better than I've ever been."
By the Numbers: UFC 137
Trademark aggression and crushing pace carried Nick Diaz, as he made a triumphant return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship at the expense of former two-division champion B.J. Penn.
Diaz overwhelmed Penn with punches en route to a clear-cut unanimous decision in the UFC 137 headliner on Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, as he recorded his career-best 11th consecutive victory and, with it, secured a coveted title shot against reigning welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre.
Beyond the outcome, rests the facts and figures. Here is a by-the-numbers look at UFC 137 “Penn vs. Diaz,” with statistics provided by FightMetric:
150: Total strikes by which Diaz outlanded Penn in their action-packed three-round encounter. The 28-year-old Cesar Gracie disciple connected on 125 punches in the second round alone.
.500: Diaz’s winning percentage in fights that have gone the distance. The former Strikeforce champion started his career 1-5 in bouts involving the judges. Diaz has not lost a decision since bowing to Sean Sherk at UFC 59 in April 2006.
21: Appearances Penn has made inside the Octagon, good for fifth on the all-time list. The Hawaiian trails only Matt Hughes (25), Tito Ortiz (25), Randy Couture (24) and Chuck Liddell. Three of those men are in the UFC Hall of Fame and Ortiz figures to someday join them.
1: Victory for Penn outside of the lightweight division since 2005.
44: Significant strikes landed by French kickboxer Cheick Kongo in his unanimous decision victory over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 10 alum Matt Mitrione in the co-main event. By comparison, Mitrione connected on only 21.
UFC 137 Spike Prelims Special Ties Second-Worst Rating Ever
Despite a solid two-fight card for Spike's UFC 137 prelims show, the ratings were not good. The show tied for the second-worst rating of the 24 episodes aired over the last two years, drawing just 1.1 million viewers and a 0.8 rating overall. It drew a 0.89 rating in males 18-49 and 0.85 rating in males 18-49. Spike isn't even trumpeting the usual spiel about it winning it's time slot in their main demographics.
That cannot be seen as remotely good for anyone involved, and is likely an indicator of a bad buyrate for the UFC 137 pay-per-view. This also comes on the heels of the worst Spike prelims rating ever for their UFC 136 show, which drew an average of just one million viewers.
Spike will air just three more prelims shows before the UFC's broadcast deal with Fox kicks in and the shows move over to FX in January 2012. The next episode is scheduled to air before UFC 139 pay-per-view on November 19th. The two scheduled fights see Ryan Bader facing Jason Brilz, and Tom Lawlor taking on Chris Weidman.
White says gay UFC fighters should come out
UFC president Dana White said last week he believes there are probably several gay fighters among the ranks of the more than 300 the company has under contract and added that he wishes at least one of them came out of the closet and identified himself.
White strongly defended his human rights record against attacks from the Culinary Workers Union, which attempted to paint him as anti-gay. The culinary union has been engaged in a battle with White and the UFC for several years, largely because the casinos in Las Vegas owned by UFC co-owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta are non-union. The union, which so far has been successful in lobbying the New York legislature to block the UFC’s attempt to get mixed martial arts legalized in the state, has created websites and written letters to UFC advertisers, painting it as unfit for children and anti-gay.
White said he is not anti-gay and said he regretted using a crude word to describe a homosexual in a 2009 rant against a female reporter who had angered him.
“If you guys look at all of the things I’ve said over the last 10 years, some of it is stupid, some of it is whatever, but that’s the one that bothers me,” White said of the use of the slur in 2009. “It’s the only one that bothers me, the fact that these losers from the culinary union can go out and say I’m a homophobe and things like that. That’s the furthest thing from the truth.
Anderson Silva: "ill fight for another six or seven years"
VIA Bj Penn's twitter page:
Direct quote: “I’ll fight for another six or seven years and then I’ll stop. I stopped to think about it and I’ll postpone my retirement for a little longer. Then I’ll think about TV. I guess it’s interesting,”
if he can stay in his prime for that much longer, finger crossed, then we should be able to see more than enough of all the match-ups everyone is dying to see
Carano Not Fighting in 2011
There had been some speculation that Gina Carano, still arguably the most famous women's MMA fighter in the world, was targeting a return to action on Strikeforce's Dec. 17 card in San Diego. However, sources close to the event confirmed with MMAFighting.com that Carano will not be competing on the card.
Carano announced her return to Strikeforce in February of this year, however, an undisclosed illness forced her to pull out of her June 18 fight against Sarah D'Alelio. As of right now, Strikeforce has no plans for her return to the cage.
Vitor Belfort vs. Anthony Johnson slated for UFC 142 in Brazil
A intriguing middleweight bout between Vitor Belfort (20-9 MMA, 9-4 UFC) and former welterweight Anthony Johnson (10-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) will be part of January's UFC 142 card.
UFC officials today announced that verbal agreements are in place for the fight.
UFC 142 takes place Jan. 14 in Brazil, and Belfort vs. Johnson will be part of a main card expected to air on pay-per-view.
Despite tape-delayed main card, UFC 138 prelims stream live on Facebook
Although Saturday's UFC 138 main card airs via same-day delay on Spike TV, the event's preliminary card will stream live and for free on Facebook.
The six-bout lineup begins at 5:30 p.m. GMT local time (12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT).
Featured preliminary-card bouts include the likes of light heavyweights Cyrille Diabate (17-7-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) vs. Anthony Perosh (11-6 MMA, 1-3 UFC), welterweights Justin Edwards (7-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) vs. John Maguire (16-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC), and featherweights Michihiro Omigawa (12-10-1 MMA, 0-4 UFC) vs. Jason Young (8-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC).
Fox And DirecTV Reach An Agreement, UFC Not In Jeopardy
Last week I reported that DirecTV had sent a letter to the FCC in response to Fox's continual airing of misleading commercials. The complaint essentially was to let the FCC know that Fox is no longer fit to be a network and should not receive the same considerations as CBS/NBC/ABC. The Fox suite of channels including FX, Fuel, and Fox Soccer Channel were set to be pulled from the carrier today until a deal could be reached. Last night the two sides reached to an agreement and customers will not be losing their channels.
"Fox Networks and DIRECTV have reached an agreement for DIRECTV to continue carrying all Fox Networks (including FX, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, SPEED, FUEL TV, FOX Soccer, FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Deportes), Fox's regional sports networks, Fox Broadcasting (FOX), the FOX local stations, Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network," DirecTV expressed in a statement. "We both know the past ten days have been challenging, but we're pleased that both sides could eventually come together to ensure our viewers continue to enjoy Fox programming."
UFC 138 loses Taylor-Njokuani; Diabate-Perosh promoted to main card
UFC 138 has lost a main-card bout.
Lightweight Paul Taylor (11-6-1 MMA, 4-5 UFC) has suffered an undisclosed injury and has been forced out of his main-card bout with Anthony Njokuani (14-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC), MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has confirmed with event sources.
A light-heavyweight bout between Cyrille Diabate (17-7-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) and Anthony Perosh (11-6 MMA, 1-3 UFC) has taken its spot on the main card.
Njokuani will be rebooked for a later event.
Manager: Carlos Condit Mad at Georges St-Pierre, Not UFC, for Losing Title Fight
Malki Kawa had a bad feeling when he heard his phone ring and looked at the caller ID. It was then that he realized UFC president Dana White was on the other line. UFC 137 had just ended 30 minutes earlier, and it was already after midnight on the east coast. It was not a time for mindless chit-chat. It was a time for serious business.
As is his style, White cut to the chase. Georges St-Pierre no longer wanted to fight Kawa's client Carlos Condit next. Instead, the UFC welterweight champ wanted to fight Nick Diaz, the winner of UFC 137's main event. We all now know the outcome. St-Pierre got the fight he wanted, and he'll be fighting Diaz in early February. Condit? He wasn't too happy, and he didn't exactly "step aside" as White told the media at the post-fight press conference.
Aldo to defend UFC title against Mendes at UFC 142 in Brazil
Fighting in his home country of Brazil, Jose Aldo will defend his UFC Featherweight Title Jan. 14 in UFC 142 against undefeated fighter Chad Mendes, FOXSports.com has learned.
The fight will pair Aldo’s electrifying style, one punctuated by ferocious flying knees and lighting-quick submissions, against a nuanced ground game Mendes honed as an NCAA Division I wrestler.
Manny Gamburyan vs Diego Nunes Back On for UFC 141
From the let’s try this again file, former ‘Ultimate Fighter’ winner Manny Gamburyan will meet Diego Nunes at UFC 141 in December.
The pair were originally scheduled to meet at UFC 135 in September, but injuries put both fighters on the sidelines and off the card.
UFC officials announced the pair had accepted the fight once again, this time at UFC 141.
TUF Brazil Confirmed, Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort Reportedly Set To Coach
The UFC has confirmed that they will stage a season of the The Ultimate Fighter outside of Las Vegas for the first time, and it will be in Brazil. Today, a report from Brazilian media giant Globo pegged down when it will take place and who the coaches will be: UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and former opponent Vitor Belfort. Filming is set to begin in March, and Globo, the people who put out the report, are set to produce the show. Here's a rough translation:
After the announcement of the broadcast of UFC fights by Rede Globo, a new feature promises to stir the market's national MMA. The month of March 2012 will mark the debut of the reality TUF (The Ultimate Fighter) in Brazil.
UFC 137 salaries
Nick Diaz: $200,000 (no win bonus)
def. B.J. Penn: $150,000
Cheick Kongo: $140,000 (includes $70,000 win bonus)
def. Matt Mitrione: $10,000
Roy Nelson: $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus)
def. Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic: $75,000
Scott Jorgensen: $33,000 (includes $16,500 win bonus)
def. Jeff Curran: $8,000
Hatsu Hioki: $30,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus)
def. George Roop: $8,000
Donald Cerrone: $54,000 (includes $27,000 win bonus)
def. Dennis Siver: $27,000
Bart Palaszewski: $28,500 (includes $10,000 win bonus)*
def. Tyson Griffin: $25,500*
Brandon Vera: $120,000 (includes $60,000 win bonus)
def. Eliot Marshall: $15,000
Ramsey Nijem: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Danny Downes: $4,000
Francis Carmont: $12,000 (includes $6,000 win bonus)
def. Chris Camozzi: $8,000
Clifford Starks: $12,000 (includes $6,000 win bonus)
def. Dustin Jacoby: $6,000
* - Although not recognized on the official pay sheet, Griffin was fined $8,500 for missing weight for the fight, and contracts were reworked with those amounts. That money was issued to Palaszewski, an NSAC official confirmed with MMAjunkie.com. Otherwise, Griffin would have made $34,000 and Palaszewski would have made $20,000
Assuncao: 99-Percent Chance I’ll Fight Pearson at UFC 141
Junior Assuncao thinks he will be the one to welcome “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 9 winner Ross Pearson to the UFC featherweight at the promotion’s year-end pay-per-view event.
The Brazilian fighter Monday told Sherdog.com that he is nearly certain UFC officials will grant his wish for a fight with the Englishman at UFC 141, which takes place Dec. 30 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“We haven’t signed yet, but I can say it’s a 99-percent chance that this fight will happen,” Assuncao told Sherdog.com. “I asked the UFC to face Pearson when I found out he was dropping to 145 pounds. He’s already telling everyone that he’ll fight me and I will welcome him.”
Eddie Alvarez Tried To Purchase Stake In Bellator Last Year
Loretta Hunt of Sports Illustrated recently interviewed Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez to discuss a slew of topics. One that definitely sticks out is the champion's view on the current state of the MMA market domestically. It seems that with the UFC purchasing organizations left and right, the champion got a bit antsy. So much so that he approached Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney about potentially buying into the company. It wasn't for any reason other than an investment opportunity, one that could pay off had a buy out occured. Now, a year late, the champion revisited his reasoning with Loretta saying:
Originally, when the UFC purchased Strikeforce (last March), I got very on edge. I called (Bellator owner) Bjorn Rebney to ask him if there was any possible way that I could buy stake in Bellator. The way (the UFC) was buying up promotions like that, I didn't want them to come in on Bellator without me being able to capitalize on it.
Manager: Demian Maia Wants to Fight Jake Shields at 185
Jake Shields hasn't had the best year so far inside the cage, and there has been some minor speculation that he might like to return to middleweight after two losses in a row at welterweight. While there's no shame at all in losing to Georges St. Pierre and Jake Ellenberger, especially with the fact that he had to deal with the death of his manager and father going into the second fight, it is believed the former Strikeforce middleweight champion might be a better fit up at 185. If that is the case, Demian Maia's manager Eduardo Alonzo told Tatame that he wants his fighter to get the first crack at Shields:
"It’s a personal desire, but I guess it’d be a good fight, an interesting challenge for Demian. For his record and skills as a fighter, I’m guessing it’d be interesting", said the manager to TATAME.